The 23rd of February to the 8th of March is Fairtrade Fortnight which celebrates the impact of Fairtrade and raises awareness of the importance of buying Fairtrade produce when possible.
More than 1.3 million people, across more than 70 developing countries benefit from the Fairtrade system which ensures farmers across the developing world receive a fairer price for their work, as well as an additional premium, used by farmers and workers to invest in their communities.
The community then decides what the Premium is spent on, whether that’s building a new school or hospital, or investing in better environmental business practices.
The UK is one of the world’s leading countries for Fairtrade products, with around 20% of the coffee, and 20% of the bananas sold in the UK coming from Fairtrade producers. We know there is still a long way to go to make all trade fair – just 1.2% of cocoa and less than 10% of tea globally is traded on Fairtrade terms.
In my office we promote the use of Fairtrade produce by only using Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar and I believe, by buying food and other Fairtrade products from developing countries, we can help economies to grow and support the reduction of poverty.
By even changing our basic shopping habits we can make a real difference to the lives of the world’s poorest people. However, in these uncertain times I understand it is very difficult for many families to make ends meet, and for many local people, buying Fairtrade produce isn’t at the top of their agenda.
Image from www.fairtrade.org.uk